Thirty-two new social enterprises will be created from NHS projects through the Right to Request scheme, according to Andrew Lansley, the Secretary of State for Health.
Yesterday’s announcement forms the third and final wave of organisations that will be given independence under the scheme, which began life under the Labour government and allows health workers to request the right to spin out services they provide into independent social enterprises.
The latest wave means that a total of 61 organisations providing services worth about £900m a year and employing almost 25,000 staff will have transferred to the social enterprise sector through the Right to Request scheme.
"I am encouraged by the enthusiasm with which NHS front-line staff have embraced the Right to Request scheme," said Lansley. "This represents a major milestone in the delivery of the white paper commitment to create the largest and most vibrant social enterprise sector in the world.
"We want to empower millions of public sector workers to become their own bosses and help them to deliver better services."
An additional £4.4m of funding will be made available to the projects through the Social Enterprise Investment Fund.
Jonathan Lewis, chief executive of the Social Investment Business, which administers the fund, said it had helped a total of 150 social enterprises in the health sector.